Schools, colleges and children's services – statutory guidance

Early years (under 5s) foundation stage framework (EYFS)

Guidance on the standards that school and childcare providers must meet for the learning, development and care of children under 5.


The framework:

  • sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well
  • ensures children are kept healthy and safe
  • ensures that children have the knowledge and skills they need to start school

This statutory framework is for:

  • school leaders
  • school staff
  • childcare providers
  • childminders

It relates to:

  • local authority-maintained schools
  • non-maintained schools (schools not maintained by a local authority)
  • independent schools
  • academies and free schools
  • nurseries
  • private nursery schools
  • pre-schools/playgroups
  • childminding

Statutory guidance is issued by law; you must follow it unless there’s a good reason not to.

This framework replaced the EYFS framework 2012 on 1 September 2014.

Supporting material is available on the Foundation Years website.